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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Cookies/Cake/Pastry

FOOD FUN: Confetti Cake

With the success of The Flintstones television series, Post Foods obtained a license from Hanna-Barbera for Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles breakfast cereals. Introduced in 1971, the crisp rice cereal bits are still going strong.

And not just for breakfast, either. They’ve made their way into a variety of baked goods, from donuts to Rice Krispie Treats. Fruity Pebbles, in particular, provides a rainbow of six colors to add brightness and crunch. The cereal has generated a plethora of Fruity Pebbles cakes.

Depending on your crowd, you may prefer to call them confetti cakes.

It’s spring, it’s almost Mother’s Day: It’s time to think of making a confetti cake:

  • Bundt cake (recipe)
  • Cake roll (recipe)
  • Cheesecake: as a topper, mixed into the batter or both.
  • Cupcake toppers (recipe)
  • Ice cream cake (recipe)
  • Ice cream pie (recipe)
  •  

    strawberry-fruity-pebble-bunt-cake-lecremedelacrumb-230r

    Sophisticated: a Fruity Pebbles bundt. Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy Le Creme De La Crumb.

  • Layer cake: top only, sides only, atop the filling layer(s) inside, or over the whole surface of the cake; mixed into the batter and atop the frosting (recipe)
  • Sheet cake: mixed into the batter and as a garnish atop the frosting
  •  

    MORE CONFETTI CAKE

    Check out Pillsbury’s Funfetti cake mix.

    We love these neon confetti cake decorations.

    The easiest default: mixed sprinkles.

      

    Comments

    TIP: Easy, Last Minute Easter Cake

    carrot-cake-blackjetbakingco-goodeggsSF-230

    Our inspiration was this Easter cake from
    Black Jet Baking Co., a small San Francisco
    baking company committed to making
    nostalgic treats and baked goods. Photo
    courtesy Good Eggs | SF.

     

    No dessert inspiration for Easter? Here’s an easy last-minute fix:

    SHOPPING LIST

  • Store-bought plain cake -or-
  • 1 box of cake mix (for a two-layer cake)
  • Decorations: jelly beans, multicolored sprinkles
  •  
    For The Cake Mix

  • Eggs and other ingredients specified on package directions
  • 1 pint whipping cream plus any flavorings
  •  
    Preparation For Cake Mix

    1. BAKE the cake mix in two layers, per package directions. While the cake cools…

    2. MAKE freshly whipped cream—classic, flavored with vanilla; lavender whipped cream, rum-accented, salted caramel whipped cream or other favorite flavor (recipes).

    3. DECORATE decorate with jelly beans and sprinkles.
     
    Not enough chocolate in your Easter basket? Try chocolate whipped cream (recipe below).

     

    RECIPE: STABILIZED CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM

    If you’re going to fill and frost a cake, you need whipped cream that’s been stabilized with gelatin to keep its shape. If you want vanilla whipped cream, substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the chocolate and skip Steps 1-3 and add the gelatin to both cups of cream in Step 5.

    Ingredients

  • 4 ounces milk or 60% cacao dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (use a good chocolate bar)
  • 3 tablespoons sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 8 teaspoons cold water
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside.

    2. COMBINE the sugar and 1 cup of the cream in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

     

    3. POUR the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate has melted. Transfer to the bowl an electric mixer and let cool.

    4. COMBINE the gelatin and cold water in a small pan and let stand until thick. Then place over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from the heat and cool, but do not allow the gelatin to set.

    5. ADD the second cup of cream and whip on medium speed (ideally with whisk beaters). While slowly beating, add the gelatin to the whipping cream mixture. Whip at high speed until stiff.
     
    RECIPE: REGULAR CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM

    Ingredients

  • 4 ounces milk or 60% cacao dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (use a good chocolate bar)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  •  

    chocolate-whipped-cream-cookiemadness.net-230

    For a cake filling, make a stabilized whipped cream with gelatin. Photo courtesy CookieMadness.net.

     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside.

    2. COMBINE the sugar and 1 cup of the cream in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

    3. POUR the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate has melted. Transfer to the bowl an electric mixer and let cool.

    4. ADD the second cup of cream and whip on medium speed (ideally with whisk beaters) until thick.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Ready To Eat Cookie Dough

    Just-Cookie-Dough-godairyfreeorg-230

    Get a spoon and dig in! Photo courtesy
    GoDairyFree.org.

     

    As many people who bake Toll House cookies know, the raw dough is as delicious as the baked cookies.

    Some people, wanting to eat the raw dough but not wanting to mix it, buy rolls of ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookie dough for that purpose.

    This led to a customer suggestion on the flavor suggestion board at the original Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop. The flavor was created and initially available only at that location, in Burlington, Vermont.

    Finally, in 1991, it was released to stores nationwide, to great success. It has remained one of the company’s Top 10 flavors. Last year it was #3; #1 was Half Baked, which combines cookie dough and brownie bits.

    But over the years, the dark side or raw dough raised its head:

    Raw eggs can contain salmonella, a bacterium that can cause serious illness. When cookie dough is baked the bacteria are killed.

     
    Commercial manufacturers of cookie dough and other products that incorporate uncooked eggs (Caesar salad, ice cream, mayonnaise and mousse, for example) began to use pasteurized eggs. (Be sure to check the package label for “pasteurized,” or ask your restaurant server to check with the kitchen.)

    At home, most cooks continue to use conventional eggs, and many of us continue to nibble on raw cake batter and cookie dough. If you want to do that, we implore you: Use pasteurized eggs.

    But now, Hampton Creek has created a refrigerated, dairy free, cholesterol free and allergy friendly cookie dough. It can be baked into vegan chocolate chip cookies (they’re kosher too, certified by KOF-K).

    But more importantly to us, it can be eaten as raw cookie dough, called Just Cookie Dough. It’s currently available in Chocolate Chip.
    Dough

     

    POLISHED OFF WITH GUSTO

    We received a sample of Chocolate Chip Just Cookie Dough—a riot of chocolate chips held together with a small amount of dough. We polished off the 14-ounce jar (MSRP $5.49) in two days of snacking.

    How did it taste? Very pleasing, if not as redolent of brown sugar and vanilla flavors as the Toll House Cookie dough we adore (the Just Cookie Dough chocolate chip recipe uses molasses instead of brown sugar).

    But we’ve certainly added it to our shopping list for those cookie dough fixes, and to make our own custom cookie dough ice cream.

    Just soften a pint of your favorite flavor and stir in small balls of cookie dough; return to the freezer to harden.

    The product is currently rolling out nationwide. Find a store locator on the company website, or phone 1.844.423.6637.

     

    choc-chip-cookie-dough-open-pint-230

    Americans love raw chocolate chip cookie dough. Photo courtesy Ben & Jerry’s.

     

      

    Comments

    BOOK: The Macaroon Bible

    the-macaroon-bible-230

    A gift for cookie lovers, gluten free observers and Passover hosts. Photo courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

     

    Before there were macarons, French meringue oookie sandwiches, there were macaroons.

    The soft, gluten-free coconut cookies are a delight year-round, but especially appreciated by Passover observers. Made of shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk and egg whites—without the flour or leavening that are verboten during this holiday—they happily replace other baked sweets.

    Dan Cohen of Danny’s Macaroons and author of The Macaroon Bible, is a great macaroon baker. Starting with his grandmother’s plain and chocolate dipped recipes, he’s brought macaroons into the new flavor age. You can order them online at (the cookies are made with kosher ingredients, but are not certified kosher for Passover). We’re big fans.
     
    RECIPES IN THE BOOK
    Amarena Cherry, topped with an semi-candied cherry
    Baileys McRoons Macaroons
    Bourbon Macaroons
    Black Chocolate Stout Macaroons
    Chocolate Almond Macaroons
    Chocolate Banana Nut Macaroons
    Chocolate Caramel Macaroons
    Chocolate Dipped Macaroons
    Chocolate Malted Macaroons
    Guava Macaroons
    Jamstand Surprise Macaroons (with spicy raspberry jalapeño jam)
    Maple Pecan Pie Macaroons
    Peanut Butter & Jelly Macaroons
    Plain Coconut Macaroons
    Red Velvet Macaroons
    Rice Pudding Macaroons
    Spiced Pumpkin Macaroons
    Stoopid Macaroons (coconut macaroons filled with potato chips, pretzels and Butterfinger, then drizzled with dark chocolate)

    Get the book at Amazon.com.

    And take a look at the history of macaroons and macarons.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Modern Black Forest Cake

    National Black Forest Cake Day is March 28th, but we’re far from cherry season in the U.S.

    While you may still be able to find some fresh cherries, shipped from some far-away orchard overseas, consider this modern approach to Black Forest Cake by one of our favorite bloggers, Vicky of Stasty.com.

    It includes a garnish of cherries dipped in white chocolate and coated with popping candy. Call it modern Black Forest Cake.

    If you’re up for making it, here’s the recipe.

    Otherwise, head for our classic Black Forest Cake recipe. If it’s for an audience of adults only, use lots of Kirschwasser (clear cherry brandy—you can substitute regular brandy).

    The Black Forest region of southern Germany is known for its sour Morello cherries and for the Kirschwassermade from them. Hence, the inspiration for this old-fashioned classic:

    Yummy chocolate cake with cherries and whipped cream.

     

    black-fores-nouvelle-stasty-230

    A modern take on Black Forest Cake. Photo courtesy Stasty.com.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Gluten-Free Walkers Shortbread

    walkers-gf-shortbread-plate-juliatomases-230

    Our favorite Walkers Shortbread is chock-full
    of chocolate chips. Photo by Julia Tomases |
    THE NIBBLE.

     

    Good news for gluten-free followers: Scotland’s Walkers Shortbread, beloved by many, now has GF options. And they’re delicious: the same pure buttery shortbread flavor, freed of gluten:

  • Gluten Free Pure Butter Shortbread, the classic
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread, our favorite (because what cookie can’t be made even better with the addition of chocolate chips?)
  • Gluten Free Ginger & Lemon Shortbread, made with stem ginger
  • The company worked on the recipes for a long time, to maintain the traditional flavor of Walkers Shortbread without compromise on texture and flavor.

    Every batch is tested to be sure it meets the FDA standard* for gluten free food.

    Founded in 1898, the family owned company still bakes the shortbread, cookies and oatcakes in their home village of Aberlour, in the Scottish Highlands. It’s the leading brand of food exported from Scotland.

     
    Walkers products are fit for royalty: In 2002, by Royal Warrant of Appointment, Walkers became the official supplier of oatcakes to Her Majesty the Queen.

    The line is all natural and certified OU-D kosher. Discover more at US.WalkersShortbread.com.

    Approximately 2 million people in the U.S. suffer from celiac* disease, and another 18 million have gluten sensitivity. Still others choose to eat a gluten-free diet.

    And now, that diet can include shortbread!
     
    *Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people. The ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Chocolate Chip Mint Cupcakes

    chocolate-mint-cupcakes-zulkasugarFB-230

    St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes. Photo courtesy
    Zulka.

     

    Family-owned Zulka manufacturers premium-quality sugars/ They’re dedicated to producing more natural sugar through responsible, environmentally friendly cane production. The sugars are minimally processed, which helps to preserve the fresh flavor of the sugar cane and more of the nutrition that is stripped away when cane is processed. The result: better tasting sugar!

    The company provides lots of recipes for how to use the sugars. Here’s their suggestion for the perfect St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes. Get out your muffin tins!

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE MINT CUPCAKES

    Ingredients For 18 Cupcakes

    For The Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup canola oil*
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1/3 cup full fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 cups mini chocolate chips, divided
  • For the Frosting:

  • 6 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon mint extract (use more for a stronger flavor)
  • 6-10 drops green food coloring
  •  
    *Mild virgin olive oil, sunflower or grapeseed oil can be substituted.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Prepare the muffin tins with 18 cupcake liners.

    2. COMBINE the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a small bowl, whisking well. Set aside.

    3. MIX the butter and sugars until in a large bowl with an electric or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

    4. ADD the melted and cooled cocoa mixture, mixing well until fully combined. Add the oil and extracts and mix again, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

    5. ADD the sour cream and then the flour mixture and mix slowly until just combined. Add the milk and mix for another 20 seconds. Fold in 1 cup of the mini chocolate chips.

    6. FILL the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes bounce back slightly when lightly pressed. Let them cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then carefully remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

     

    zulka-morena-cane-sugar-2-230

    Cane sugar, one of the three different types used in this recipe. Check out the different types of sugar in our sugar glossary. Photo courtesy Zulka Morena.

     

    7. MAKE the frosting. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese, butter and salt until lightened and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition.

    8. ADD the vanilla extract and food coloring, starting with small amounts until you reach the desired flavor and color. It will darken more as it sits.

    9. FROST the tops of each cupcake using either a spatula or a frosting bag fitted with an open star tip, and sprinkle the remaining mini chocolate chips on top. Serve at room temperature.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY DAY: Cook With Beer For St. Patrick’s Day

    Beer lovers know the fun of cooking with beer.

    A quick look at TasteOfHome.com revealed 30 recipes with beer, including beer battered fish, bread, dip, braised ribs, cheese soup, chili, glazed steaks, green beans, fondue, mac and cheese, mustard, potato wedges, pot roast, roast chicken and beef stew. Whew!

    Our suggestion is for a breakfast treat, Irish soda muffins and jam, both made with Irish Red ale.

    Boston beer king Samuel Adams asked two local artisan food producers, both members of their Brewing the American Dream Program, to make St. Patrick’s Day recipes with its beer. The result is yummy. We could start every day with the Irish soda muffins!

    If today is a good baking day for you, whip up a batch of muffins. Enjoy some warm out of the oven, and stick the rest in the freezer for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

    The muffin recipe is by Sandy Russo of LuLu’s Sweet Shoppe in Boston’s North End. They taste just like Irish soda bread, but with the denser texture of muffins.

    RECIPE: IRISH SODA MUFFINS

    Ingredients

  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons barley malt* (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Samuel Adams Irish Red†
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Garnish: sanding sugar (substitute table sugar)
  •    

    irish-soda-muffins-kingarthur-230

    Bites of heaven: Irish soda muffins. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

     

    *Look for barley malt powder, also called diastatic malt powder or barley flour, at health food or brewing supplies shops; or buy it online. It keeps well in the freezer in a tightly sealed container, and can be used to make bagels and other bread doughs.

    †If you can’t find Irish Red, substitute Boston Lager.
     
    Preparation

    1. POSITION the rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray the top of a muffin pan with non-stick coating and line with paper liners.

    2. CREAM together in a large bowl the butter, sugar and barley malt until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.

    3. MIX in the flour, salt and baking powder with the paddle attachment on low speed, just until incorporated. Add the beer until incorporated. Next add the sour cream, caraway seeds and raisins. Scrape down the sides of bowl and beat until smooth, about 25 seconds.

    4. SCOOP into the muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops lightly with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and spring back when lightly tapped.

     

    irish-red-bottle-230

    Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a bottle of Irish Red. Photo courtesy Samuel Adams.

     

    RECIPE: ST. PADDY’S DAY JAM

    This recipe is by Allen Chrisholm of Al’s Backwoods Berrie Co. in Plymouth, Massachusetts. For a festive touch, add four drops of green food coloring to create a green jam—perfect for spreading on Irish soda bread muffins on St. Patrick’s Day!

    Ingredients For 7 Eight-Ounce Jars

  • 2 bottles Samuel Adams Irish Red* or Boston Lager
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Pinch of orange zest
  • 2/3 cup of dry, store bought pectin (2 full packages)
  • 5 cups sugar
  • Optional: 4 drops green food color
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the beer in a saucepan along with the honey and orange zest. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the pectin very slowly. Once the pectin is added, return the mixture to a boil for 1 minute, constantly stirring the mixture so it does not burn.

    2. ADD the sugar very slowly and bring the mixture back to a boil.

    3. BOIL the jars and the lids in a separate pan so that when you fill them, they are as hot as the jam. Fill and seal the jars and turn them upside down for 3 to 5 minutes; then return them upright. Let cool.

     

    WHAT IS IRISH RED ALE?

    Originally brewed in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1710, Irish red ales are known for their rich and smooth flavor plus balance, making them ideal for warmer days yet pleasant during the chilly ones.

    Deep russet in color, Samuel Adams Irish Red is inspired by the red ales of Ireland (just about every brewer there makes it).

    Full of hearty, roasty character and a backbone of malty sweetness, Samuel Adams Irish Red is “brewed to suit the cool rainy days,” according to the brewer.

    Irish Reds are easy to drink: well-rounded, a bit sweet, with a lightly hopped tea-like flavor and a pleasant toasted malt character. If you have a source for imports, look for Killian’s, Murphy’s, Smithwick’s and other Irish brands. Perhaps you can celebrate the day with an Irish Red tasting!

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Bake A Pie, It’s Pi Day Of The Century!

    Mathematically, today is Pi Day: 3.14. As you learned in high school geometry, the Greek symbol is used in mathematics to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, a constant which begins with 3.14159.

    Sorry we can’t show the Greek symbol in these paragraphs: WordPress keeps converting it to a question mark and we couldn’t make any of the help forum ideas work. So we’ve chosen the fetching “pi pie” in the photo at right to help out.

    Today is actually an extra-special Pi Day, the Pi Day of the Century: 3.14.15. The first ten digits of pi, which extends to infinity beyond the decimal point (it has been calculated up to trillions of places), are 3.141592653. There’s more about pi below.

    Thus, 9:26:53 a.m. is the Pi Moment of the Century.

    Some people are obsessed with memorizing as many digits of pi as possible. The Guinness Book Of World Records names the record holder as a man named Lu Chao. He set the record in November 2005 at Northwest A & F University in the Shaanxi province of China. It took him 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite the 67,890th decimal place of pi without a mistake. [Source]

    Congratulations, Mr. Lu, but we’d prefer to eat pie rather than memorize pi. Culinarily, we use Pi Day as an excuse to have a different type of pie each year.

       

    pi-pie-day-greatmindsofscience.tumblr-230

    Since we couldn’t get the Greek symbol for pi to appear in WordPress, we found a photo of a real “pi pie” on GreatMindsOfScience. Tumblr.com. The pi symbol is in the center and the first 31 digits circle the rim. If you know who created this masterpiece, let us know.

     
    Yes, Pi Day is celebrated by pastry fans around the world. How about a piece of the award-winning pie below? It won a blue ribbon at the 2014 National Pie Championships.

    Norske Nook is a restaurant and bakery in western Wisconsin that has received 36 blue ribbons in the past 10 years at the National Pie Championship, competing in a field of more than 500 pies.

    The restaurant announces its new cookbook today: The Norske Nook Book Of Pies & Other Recipes. It will be released next month, but you can pre-order it now.

    In the interim, they provided this delicious pie recipe.

    RECIPE: LEMON CREAM CHEESE PIE

    Most icebox pie recipes require no cooking: You simply refrigerate or freeze the completed pie. Others, like the recipe below, need only a bit of time on the stove top or in the oven. This recipe requires a bit of both.

    After you get the pie into the fridge, check out the different types of pies in our delicious Pie & Pastry Glossary.

    Ingredients For An 11-Inch Pie

  • 1 single crust, baked
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 container (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 large egg yolk
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups hot water
  • Garnish: fresh whipped cream
  •  

    lemon-cream-cheese-pie-norsknook-uwisconsinpress-230r

    An award winning pie for Pi Day. Photo courtesy University Of Wisconsin Press.

     

    Preparation

    1. MIX the cream cheese and powdered sugar in an electric stand mixer until smooth. Fold in half the whipped topping and mix to combine. With a rubber spatula, continue mixing by hand.

    2. SPREAD the filling into the bottom of the baked crust.

    3. MIX the sugar, salt and cornstarch in a saucepan over high heat. Whisk in the egg yolks, lemon juice and hot water. Cook until thickened and the center is boiling. Transfer to a plastic bowl and refrigerate until cool.

    4. MOUND the cooled mixture over the cream cheese layer. Top with the rest of the whipped topping or fresh whipped cream. Keep refrigerated.

    THE HISTORY OF PI

    Pi is a mathematical constant, a special number that is significantly interesting in some way to mathematicians.

    But why was the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet (it translates to “p” in the Roman alphabet), chosen as a mathematical symbol to represent the constant ratio of the circumference to the diameter of any circle?

     

    The credit for what turns about to be a great idea goes to a Welsh mathematician William Jones (1675-1749). In a 1706 work called Synopsis Palmariorum Matheseos (A New Introduction to the Mathematics), he abbreviated the Greek word root for periphery, meaning “circumference,” to pi.

    Before Jones used the pi symbol, the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle was referred to in this wordy phrase from medieval Latin: quantitas in quam cum multiflicetur diameter, proveniet circumferencia (the quantity which, when the diameter is multiplied by it, yields the circumference). Whew!

    Here’s more about pi.

      

    Comments

    ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Green Velvet Cupcakes

    Easy-Green-Velvet-Cupcakes-mccormick-ps-230

    St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes. Photo courtesy
    McCormick.

     

    The popularity of red velvet cake has opened the doors for other brightly-colored cakes. Duncan Hines even has a seasonal line of “Velvet” mixes: Spring Velvets (pink and yellow layers), Summer Velvets (blue and red layers with white frosting for July 4th), Autumn Velvets (orange and brown layers) and Holiday Velvets (red and green layers).

    But in this easy recipe for Green Velvet Cupcakes, German chocolate cake mix is used, along with an entire bottle of green food color. You can leave the frosting vanilla-flavored or add mint extract. You can leave the frosting white or tint it green.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes. Don’t forget that you’ll need two 12-well muffin tins and paper liners! These shamrock cupcake liners have free standard shipping.

    RECIPE: GREEN VELVET CUPCAKES

    A green twist on classic red velvet, these cupcakes are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, with a delicious cream cheese frosting.

     
    Ingredients For 24 Servings

  • 1 package (2-layer size) German chocolate cake mix with pudding (e.g. Betty Crocker’s)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle green food color
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  •  

    For The Frosting

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon green food color
  • Decorations: green sprinkles, sanding sugar or confetti shamrocks
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Beat the cake mix, sour cream, water, cocoa powder, oil, food color, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed, just until moistened, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

    2. POUR the batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

     

    green-food-color_mccormick-230

    You’ll need one bottle for the cupcakes, plus more if you want to tint the frosting green. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     
    3. COOL in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans; cool completely on wire rack.

    4. MAKE the cream cheese frosting. Beat the cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add optional mint extract and green food color. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Makes 2-1/2 cups.

    5. FROST the cooled cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles.

      

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